May 012016
 

It’s already been a very busy day, as I have been working since early this morning, changing the poll, preparing the graphics and collecting all the data I will need for tomorrow’s Monthly Report, and researching today’s articles.  Needless to say, I’m getting tired.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:52 (average 5:01).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: President Obama poked fun at Hillary Clinton’s lack of appeal among young people Saturday night, joking at the annual White House press corps dinner that Mrs. Clinton was like an aging relative who cannot figure out how to use Facebook.

“Did you get my poke? Is it on my wall?” he said, imagining Mrs. Clinton trying to use the popular social media site. “I’m not sure I’m using this right. Love, Aunt Hillary.”

 

Policies aside, when it comes to the White House Correspondents Dinner, Obama stands heads and shoulders over every other President in my lifetime.

From Think Progress: On Thursday, 98 members of Congress wrote a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and the Chairman of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TEN), asking that they disband the panel and end the investigation into Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue research.

The investigation into Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue practices began last summer, when a heavily edited video surfaced claiming that the organization was “selling aborted baby parts.” Conservatives, especially former Presidential candidate and current Ted Cruz “running mate” Carly Fiorina — called for a formal investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices.

But the claims made in the video have been repeatedly debunked, and in January, after a three-month-long investigation, a Texas Grand Jury decided not to indict Planned Parenthood. Instead, the jury moved to indict the videographers who were responsible for the video in the first place.

However, the select panel has continued to operate, going after not only Planned Parenthood, but also the scientists who are researching fetal tissue as they search for cures for diseases such as Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis.

That the basis for the investigation has been proven to be devoid of factual basis does not matter to Lyin’ Ryan and his misogynist Republican cronies. They simply want a platform from which to broadcast lies,

From Daily Kos: A group of the nation’s most important defenders of LGBT rights have written to ask the Obama administration to pull federal education funding from states that pass laws legalizing transgender discrimination in their schools.

It was sent by the American Civil Liberties Union, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, Lambda Legal, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Transgender Law Center. A Justice Department spokesperson told BuzzFeed News, “The department has received and is reviewing the letter.” […]

“We are talking about official discrimination required by the state,” said [ACLU LGBT Project director James Esseks], arguing North Carolina should lose federal education funds. “This is something that is egregious and demands a different kind of response.”

This isn’t an idle threat. The Obama administration has been aggressive in enforcing transgender rights in individual districts; a law like North Carolina, that requires public schools to engage in discrimination specifically barred by the federal government, states must either choose to follow the state law or the federal one. That runs afoul of the $4.5 billion of education funds that North Carolina could otherwise expect to get from the federal government; we can only presume that the North Carolina legislature will then have to cover the cuts with the proceeds of their personal swear jars.

This sounds to me like a perfectly reasonable response to states where bigoted Republicans have written discrimination in schools into the law.

Cartoon:

0501Cartoon

The Republican elephant rides the rest of us.

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Apr 302016
 

Even though I slept well yesterday, I still feel tired today, so I plan to rest quite a bit.  Julie is due in about 40 minutes to fluff and buff me and do some light cleaning,  Later: Julie a couple hours ago, and I’m now a cuddle-ready kitty!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today;s took me 3:57 (average 5:04).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From PR Watch: Ironies abound in the 2016 agenda for the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which brings together corporate lobbyists and state legislators at luxury hotels to vote side-by-side on "model bills" that then pop up in states across the country.

This spring’s Task Force Summit, to be held in the glittering Omni William Penn hotel on May 6 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, features [Koch suckers delinked] a discussion on "Taxpayer Funded Lobbying Disclosure."

ALEC is not worried about the corporate lobbyists stacking its board and committees, or the taxpayer money being shelled out so some politicians can afford the swank Omni, or direct government subsidies to ALEC (like Tennessee’s $100,000 grant approved recently to underwrite a future ALEC conference in Nashville). No, ALEC is worried about city and county governments that join statewide associations to lobby state government for funds to provide services to everyday people. Stomping out this type of public interest "lobbying" is a big agenda item of the Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity and part and parcel of ALEC’s agenda to preempt local democracy.

ALEC’s efforts to handcuff local democracy are just one of the highlights of ALEC’s 2016 Spring Task Force Summit agenda.

Click through for an excellent overview of the ALEC agenda, Take toilet paper because of what it will scare out of you.

From NY Times: In the landmark case Gideon v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court held in 1963 that the state or local government had to provide a lawyer to any defendant facing prison time who could not afford his or her own. This was no minor decision. Approximately 80 percent of all state criminal defendants in the United States qualify for a government-provided lawyer.

Yet despite this constitutional guarantee, state and county spending on lawyers for the poor amounts to only $2.3 billion — barely 1 percent of the more than $200 billion governments spend annually on criminal justice.

Worse, since 1995, real spending on indigent defense has fallen, by 2 percent, even as the number of felony cases has risen by approximately 40 percent.

Not surprisingly, public defense finds itself starved of resources while facing impossible caseloads that mock the idea of justice for the poor… [emphasis added]

When you combine this travesty with the all too common problem of prosecutors hiding exculpatory evidence because every case lost jeopardizes their careers, it should not surprise you that there are many innocent people behind bars. Click through for more info.

From Crooks and Liars:

If only our politicians had any common sense whatsoever many people would not have to die so needlessly for these politicians’ NRA indebtedness.

 

It’s getting hard to tell the difference between comedians pretending to be Republican Ammosexuals and real Republican Ammosexuals.

Cartoon:

0430Cartoon

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Apr 302016
 

I went to Lucia's house for an English lesson but she wasn't there.  I waited a bit in my car until I saw her walking up the hill with Simon and Regina in tow.  The minute Simon saw me, he started running towards me with a big smile on his face, calling my name.  Lucia had to let go of the harness so he wouldn't get hurt.  I got a big hug and all was right in the world.  Other than that, a very ordinary day with beautiful weather.  This weekend is supposed to be warmer than usual and dry.  Good for the Alzheimer's walk on Sunday.

Short Takes

The Guardian — An Oklahoma court has stunned local prosecutors with a declaration that state law doesn’t criminalize oral sex with a victim who is completely unconscious. 

The ruling, a unanimous decision by the state’s criminal appeals court, is sparking outrage among critics who say the judicial system was engaged in victim-blaming and buying outdated notions about rape.

But legal experts and victims’ advocates said they viewed the ruling as a sign of something larger: the troubling gaps that still exist between the nation’s patchwork of laws and evolving ideas about rape and consent.  

But several legal experts declined to fault the appeals court, saying instead that the ruling should be a wake-up call for legislators to update Oklahoma’s laws.

Michelle Anderson, the dean of the CUNY School of Law who has written extensively about rape law, called the ruling “appropriate” but the law “archaic”.

“This is a call for the legislature to change the statute, which is entirely out of step with what other states have done in this area and what Oklahoma should do,” she said. “It creates a huge loophole for sexual abuse that makes no sense.”

So, will this Republican state amend its laws to close the loop hole?  I think the answer to that lies in the word "Republican".  There is a petition on Care2 — Oklahoma: Stand United Against Rape

"The bill that will stop this kind of injustice in the future is named for this young victim. “Justice for J.W. Act of 2016” aims to include unconscious persons in the list of those who can’t give consent for sexual acts. The bill’s author, Representative Scott Biggs, said: “I am horrified by the idea that we would allow these depraved rapists to face a lower charge simply because the victim is unconscious.”"

This young woman, indeed all women, should not have to be victimised by a rapist and then victimised by the law.

Truth-outHouse Judiciary Committee hearing room on April 21, when nine members of Congress, their staff and 200 activists gathered to address the present crisis in US democracy: voter suppression and the manipulation of US elections.

In 2016 – the first presidential election since the US Supreme Court's gutting of the Voting Rights Act – a slew of new malicious laws and tactics are disenfranchising millions of Americans, even as the private control of US vote-counting technology has come under renewed scrutiny in a primary season marked by allegations of fraud and election rigging.  

"The most dangerous thing in our democracy right now is the fact that partisan, for-profit corporations using secret proprietary software provide the voting hardware and the software to register us to vote, count our votes and report election results," Fitrakis said. "I want to know why these private companies who are not using open-source software are counting our votes, registering our votes and then doing the central tabulation."

I find it interesting that there are some Republicans seemingly breaking with the party and look at voter suppression and the manipulation of US elections.  Or am I not reading this correctly?  Everybody should be very concerned about the level of voter suppression.  It should be one citizen, one vote . . . and no, corporations are not people and money is not free speech.  Can the Congress have this in place for the November 2016 general election?

Raw Story — Stephen Colbert mocked Ted Cruz for selecting Carly Fiorina as his running mate after suffering another round of devastating primary losses.

“That is bold,” Colbert said. “After Tuesday’s huge wins by Clinton and Trump, Bernie Sanders saw the writing on the wall and laid off hundreds of staffers. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz saw the writing and covered it up with a ‘hang in there, baby’ poster.”

Of course he mocked them!  And now there is more reason — Mike Pence of Indiana has endorsed Cruz.  When will they learn?

Politico — The word “Lucifer” lit up the Internet in the past 24 hours — after news surfaced that former House Speaker John Boehner used the name to describe his former congressional colleague and GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

Nice to see that Agent Orange has not lost his acerbic touch in retirement.

My Universe

ccat10

I have some hang ups!

ccat6

I'm hiding from the dog!

ccat13Will somebody get me a ladder please!

ccat1Working in the packaging department!

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Apr 292016
 

Yesterday I arrived at OSP at about 5:30 to attend my guys’ annual banquet for half of over 100 prisoners in the group and their family guests.  The other half is next month.  The food was good and I talked to several of my guys and their families about how well they were doing and how their families should take pride in them and their accomplishments.  The President (inside) then went to the podium and addressed the assembly about me.  He talked about how long I had been coming in, about how I had almost died and lost my leg, about all the help I had provided for them over the years and about how fortunate they are that I am able to return on a limited basis,  I felt both surprised and overwhelmed.  I went to the front, took the mike and said a few words about how I consider working with such men a privilege, not a sacrifice,. thanked them for their welcome, and promised to keep working become able to expand my role over time.  When I returned home, I had a snack and went to bed,  It usually takes me a while to fall asleep, but I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow.  Today, I’ve already had a nap and plan to rest.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:53 (average 5:05).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From DenverBroncos.com: Standing tall at 6-feet-7-inches, Lynch was dynamic for the Tigers in his three seasons as their starting quarterback. In his best year, his junior season, he completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 3,778 yards with 28 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

Lynch, a first team All-AAC selection in 2015, threw for 8,865 yards and 59 touchdowns in 38 career games at Memphis. The signal caller led the Tigers to bowl games in his last two seasons.

Lynch also has some wheels, compiling 687 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground.

 

May the Holy Ellipsoid Orb bathe Lynch  and all his teammates in its divine light!!

From Daily Kos: Another responsible gun owner, this time it was a retired NYPD officer who just didn’t feel safe enough to go to the doctor’s office without his trusty tool:

According to Nassau County police, the 77-year-old retired officer was in the office when he removed his licensed 10 mm semi-automatic pistol to show to the doctor.

The weapon accidentally discharged a round which struck the owner in the thigh and continued through his leg, striking the doctor in the right foot.

Both victims were taken to an area hospital for treatment of their nonlife threatening injuries.

This Republican ammosexual is so stupid that he actually shot the guy who could have treated him.

From YouTube (via Media Matters email): Rush Getting Flushed

Relegate him it a soap box on a street corner… but NOT MY street corner.

Cartoon:

0429Cartoon

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Apr 282016
 

I'm back again.  I have my course in liberal biblical studies tonight which is interesting but somewhat time intensive — 4 hours of homework in addition to 3 hours of class time plus dinner each week.  The course goes for another four weeks after tonight.  Tomorrow is teaching at Lucia's house, and then Sunday is the Alzheimer's Walk for Memories and a visit with my mother.  Once the course is done, I'll have a bit more time.

Short Takes

NY Times — Senator Ted Cruz of Texas often casts himself as the rightful heir to Ronald Reagan’s mantle of conservatism, and on Wednesday he took a page directly out of the former president’s playbook.

By tapping Carly Fiorina to be his running mate, Mr. Cruz becomes the first presidential candidate since Reagan to name a vice-presidential pick without having the nomination locked up. In 1976, Reagan teamed up with Richard S. Schweiker, a Pennsylvania senator, in a desperate attempt to grab the nomination from President Gerald R. Ford as it was slipping away. At that point, Mr. Ford’s delegate lead had become virtually insurmountable.

Rachel had this to say about Cruz's announcement.

Carly Fiorina??  The word 'dafted' comes to mind as a description for Cruz.  He is trying to reignite his campaign but he may just blow it up!  After all, this tactic didn't work so well for the patron saint of Republicans, Saint Ronnie Reagan in 1978.  He lost to Gerald Ford who then lost the general election to Jimmy Carter.

Daily Beast — As the self-proclaimed Islamic State trumpets its global terrorist campaign, U.S. special operations forces have quietly killed more than three dozen key ISIS operatives blamed for plotting deadly attacks in Europe and beyond.

Defense officials tell The Daily Beast that U.S. special operators have killed 40 “external operations leaders, planners, and facilitators” blamed for instigating, plotting, or funding ISIS’s attacks from Brussels and Paris to Egypt and Africa.

That’s less than half the overall number of ISIS targets that special operators have taken off the battlefield, one official explained, including top leaders like purported ISIS second-in-command Haji Imam, killed in March.

The previously unpublished number provides a rare glimpse into the U.S. counterterrorist mission that is woven into overall coalition efforts to defeat ISIS, and which is credited with crippling ISIS efforts to recruit foreign fighters and carry out more plots like the deadly assault on Paris that killed 130 last fall.

As proof of the campaign’s overall success, Pentagon officials this week said the influx of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria had dropped from up to 2,000 a month last year to just 200, and the overall size of ISIS from a high estimate of 33,000 a year ago to between 19,000 to 25,000 fighters.

I spoke with an Iraqi woman yesterday who said that she hoped Trump would become POTUS for only one reason . . . he'd go after ISIS.  Well I don't support her choice of Trump and told her so.  But no worries, she lives in Canada. She is sick of the destruction of her native country by ISIS and is quick to say that ISIS does not believe in Islam. They are about power and greed, nothing more.

Alternet — White, who’d been sickened by the debilitating, irreversible and often fatal disease at work in a foundry, watched in disgust as Republicans attempted to overturn the rule that the Labor Department said could save more than 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis annually.

Last week, GOP House members conducted a hearing to further their case against saving those lives. They did that just days before Workers Memorial Day, April 28, when organized labor renews its solemn pledge to strive for workplace safety rules and formally commemorates those who have died on the job in the previous year.

The totals aren’t in for 2015 yet, but the year before, 4,679 workers died on the job. That’s nearly 90 a week, 13 a day, seven days a week. Twenty-eight members of my own union, the USW, died on the job since Workers Memorial Day 2015.

But the GOP position is clear. Republicans will do whatever it takes to ensure that corporations can sicken and kill workers with impunity. (emphasis added)  If the argument is that workers’ lives and lungs must be sacrificed to ensure that foundries and fracking operations and construction companies can make bigger profits by releasing silica particles under 40-year-old standards now considered dangerous, then the GOP will take the side of CEOs who value workers as trivial.

This one image from TC says it all:

RepubliCare

My UniverseThere is nothing cuter than baby animals.  Be prepared for the Aww factor!  Here are just a few but click through for the rest of them.

The smiley bunch . . .

baby giraffe

baby sloth

The hungriest . . . 

baby hippo

The cuddliest . . .   ?

baby alligator

The most timid . . . 

baby foxes

Aw shucks . . .

baby duck

Y'all come back now, ya hear!

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Apr 282016
 

Pardon my brevity.  I needed a morning nap. and I need to get this done and up in time to go to the prison.  That’s actually a huge sacrifice, because today is a Holy Day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  The draft is tonight.  I hope my Broncos get a good first round pick.  Store to Door just left, so I have the rest of my groceries.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:35 (average 4:16).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Just how desperate is North Carolina GOP Gov. Pat McCrory to lay the blame for HB2 on anyone but himself? Well, this sitting governor has now released an attack email against a sitting mayor: Charlotte’s Jennifer Roberts. Nothing like punching downward—that’s what all the political analysts recommend. Jim Morrill has the details on McCrory’s latest re-election strategy, starting with the email’s headline:

“Roy Cooper Ally Jennifer Roberts Admitted She Thought About Leaving Out The Bathroom Mandate, But Pushed It Through Anyway,” a headline says. […]

McCrory’s email includes TV and radio clips of Roberts talking about House Bill 2. […]

“The clips … should help refresh your memory that the topic of bathrooms was first raised by the radical left when – over warnings from the governor and other state leaders that they should have left restroom norms way they were and focus on things … Roy Cooper’s allies decided to push through Charlotte’s radical bathroom mandate anyway,” said McCrory campaign spokesman Ricky Diaz.

Fact: Charlotte passed a measure that affirmed people’s judgment in making the appropriate bathroom choice.

Fact: North Carolina lawmakers passed a Big Brother bill dictating to people which bathrooms they must use, because apparently The People can’t be entrusted with such a decision.

This whole “Charlotte made us do it!” shtick is just ridiculous.

There is only one man who opted to sign HB2 into law, Hatefuhrer of the Republican Theocratic Dictatorship of McCrorystan, Par McCrory,

From The New Yorker: In choosing the former Hewlett-Packard C.E.O. Carly Fiorina as his running mate, Senator Ted Cruz hopes to tap into the immense popularity of one of the most beloved public figures in America.

Minutes after the news of Cruz’s selection leaked, political insiders called the choice of the wildly adored Fiorina a game-changer for the Cruz campaign.

“It’s no secret that Ted Cruz has some trouble with likeability,” the Republican strategist Harland Dorrinson said. “What better way to fix that than by choosing Carly Fiorina, a person everyone is absolutely crazy about?”

Fiorina’s reputation for winning the hearts of everyone she comes in contact with dates back to her days as the incredibly well-liked C.E.O. of Hewlett-Packard and, before that, Lucent Technologies.

Andy may have screwed the pooch here. The HP employees, with whom I dealt regularly for years, all spoke of her in profane uncomplimentary terms, the most common rhyming with stitch. I think that TRUSed Uranus Cruz is so desperate that he’s offering a chance at the VP slot in hopes of getting lucky with Carly. His taste is as extreme as his policies.

From NY Times: Battered by four defeats in Tuesday night’s primaries, Bernie Sanders is planning to lay off hundreds of campaign staffers across the country and focus much of his remaining effort on winning the June 7 California primary.

That confirms the end of the nomination fight, but I will still vote for him in the Oregon Primary. On to the platform fight.

Cartoon:

0428TCPrison

I hope they let me out!!

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Apr 272016
 

I’m getting another late start today.  Julie came, sprayed and buffed me, and did some light cleaning.  My ISP was down for a bit. I’m ready for a Lona nap, but I don’t get to take one yet as Store to Door is coming with a big grocery order.  Here’s something I have hot said in a very long time.  Tomorrow is a prison volunteer day.  I’ll be leaving mid-afternoon, and returning late night.  I haven’t5 seen my guys in over six months, and I can’t wait!!  I will probably have articles tomorrow, but not Friday.  Store to Door just lost about 1/3 of my grocery order, so I just have no more time to spend in research.  This is today’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:02 (average 4:28).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Real Clear Politics:

State

Date

Delegates

Clinton

Sanders

Delegate

Allocation

Open/

Closed

(2,382 Needed to Win)

4763

2151

1338

Delegates Won

4051

1632

1299

 

 

Superdelegates

(712)

519

39

 

 

District of Columbia

June 14

20 (25)

 

 

Primary

Closed

California

June 7

475 (71)

 

 

Primary

Semi-closed

Montana

June 7

21 (6)

 

 

Primary

Open

New Jersey

June 7

126 (16)

 

 

Primary

Closed

North Dakota

June 7

18 (5)

 

 

Primary

Open

New Mexico

June 7

34 (9)

 

 

Primary

Closed

South Dakota

June 7

20 (5)

 

 

Primary

Semi-open

Puerto Rico

June 5

60 (7)

 

 

Primary

Open

Virgin Islands

June 4

7 (5)

 

 

Caucus

Closed

Oregon

May 17

61 (13)

 

 

Primary

Closed

Kentucky

May 17

55 (5)

 

 

Primary

Closed

West Virginia

May 10

29 (8)

 

 

Primary

Semi-closed

Guam

May 7

7 (5)

 

 

Caucus

Closed

Indiana

May 3

83 (9)

 

 

Primary

Open

Rhode Island

April 26

24 (9)

11

13

Primary

Semi-closed

Pennsylvania

April 26

189 (21)

95

67

Primary

Closed

Delaware

April 26

21 (10)

12

9

Primary

Closed

Connecticut

April 26

55 (15)

27

25

Primary

Closed

Maryland

April 26

95 (23)

59

32

Primary

Closed

New York

April 19

247 (44)

139

108

Primary

Closed

Wyoming

April 9

14 (4)

7

7

Caucus

Closed

Wisconsin

April 5

86 (10)

38

48

Primary

Open

Washington

March 26

101 (17)

9

25

Caucus

Open

Hawaii

March 26

25 (9)

8

17

Caucus

Semi-closed

Alaska

March 26

16 (4)

3

13

Caucus

Closed

Utah

March 22

33 (4)

6

27

Caucus

Semi-open

Idaho

March 22

23 (4)

5

18

Caucus

Open

Arizona

March 22

75 (10)

42

33

Primary

Closed

Ohio

March 15

143 (16)

81

62

Primary

Semi-open

North Carolina

March 15

107 (14)

59

45

Primary

Semi-closed

Missouri

March 15

71 (13)

36

35

Primary

Open

Illinois

March 15

156 (26)

79

77

Primary

Open

Florida

March 15

214 (32)

141

73

Primary

Closed

Northern Marianas

March 12

6 (5)

4

2

N/A

N/A

Michigan

March 8

130 (17)

63

67

Primary

Open

Mississippi

March 8

36 (5)

32

4

Primary

Open

Maine

March 6

25 (5)

9

16

Caucus

Closed

Kansas

March 5

33 (4)

10

23

Caucus

Closed

Nebraska

March 5

25 (5)

10

15

Caucus

Closed

Louisiana

March 5

51 (8)

37

14

Primary

Closed

Virginia

March 1

95 (15)

62

33

Primary

Open

Vermont

March 1

16 (10)

0

16

Primary

Open

Texas

March 1

222 (30)

147

75

Primary

Open

Tennessee

March 1

67 (9)

44

23

Primary

Open

Oklahoma

March 1

38 (4)

17

21

Primary

Semi-closed

Minnesota

March 1

77 (16)

31

46

Caucus

Open

Massachusetts

March 1

91 (25)

46

45

Primary

Semi-closed

Georgia

March 1

102 (14)

73

29

Primary

Open

Democrats Abroad

March 1-8

13 (4)

4

9

Primary

Closed

Colorado

March 1

66 (13)

25

41

Caucus

Closed

Arkansas

March 1

32 (5)

22

10

Primary

Open

American Samoa

March 1

6 (4)

4

2

Caucus

Closed

Alabama

March 1

53 (7)

44

9

Primary

Open

South Carolina

February 27

53 (6)

39

14

Primary

Open

Nevada

February 20

35 (8)

20

15

Caucus

Closed

New Hampshire

February 9

24 (8)

9

15

Primary

Semi-closed

Iowa

February 1

44 (8)

23

21

Caucus

Semi-open

Hillary increased her lead by 58 delegates.  At this point I see no feasible way for Bernie to win.

From Daily KosThanks to Sanders to taking a first step on the path to helping to the Democratic Party unite and win this November!

“The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as President and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be.  That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast.  That is why this campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform that calls for $15 an hour minimum wage, an end to our disastrous trade policies, a Medicare-for-all health care system, breaking up Wall Street, financial institutions, ending fracking in our country, making public colleges and universities tuition free and passing a carbon tax so we can effectively address the planetary crisis of climate change.”

According to MSNBC, for the first time I have ever heard, he sent out a message congratulating Hillary Clinton on her victories tonight.

Kudos to Bernie and his campaign.  I think they realize that they can’t win. so to begin the healing process, they are changing their focus from the nomination to the platform. 

From Alternet: Stephen Colbert got down with some bathroom humor on Tuesday night’s show.

“Here’s the thing,” he said. “I don’t care if you’re male or female, what sex or gender identity someone is, I—and I mean this sincerely—do not want to share a bathroom with anyone. For two reasons: No. 1—and No. 2.”

Of course, he was not there to make sophomoric poop jokes; his target was the ridiculous and hateful political posturing around who gets to use which bathroom with whom.

 

Does he know how to pick a weirdo. or what?

Cartoon:

0427Cartoon

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Apr 272016
 

So it has been almost 2 weeks since I last published an article, not because I did not want to, but because I have been very, very busy with all sorts of activities.  Something had to give and it was publishing.  Last Sunday during a church service, five of us were commissioned and anointed into the ministry of pastoral care having finished our training and police background checks.  Of course I have been teaching and attending physio.  Last Friday, I looked after Lucia's two youngest while Lucia took some "me time".  I was totally wasted by the afternoon when Lucia returned.  What's more, I managed to escape a nuclear diaper!  I'll do the same next week so Lucia can be with Loliyo at a dance competition.  There are also routine things like doctor's and dentist's appointments, and the most important, snuggles with the fur babies.  I still have to do the taxes but since neither of us owe any, it isn't a big worry.

Short Takes

The Nation — Global warming is, in the end, not about the noisy political battles here on the planet’s surface. It actually happens in constant, silent interactions in the atmosphere, where the molecular structure of certain gases traps heat that would otherwise radiate back out to space. If you get the chemistry wrong, it doesn’t matter how many landmark climate agreements you sign or how many speeches you give. And it appears the United States may have gotten the chemistry wrong. Really wrong.  

In February, Harvard researchers published an explosive paper in Geophysical Research Letters. Using satellite data and ground observations, they concluded that the nation as a whole is leaking methane in massive quantities. Between 2002 and 2014, the data showed that US methane emissions increased by more than 30 percent, accounting for 30 to 60 percent of an enormous spike in methane in the entire planet’s atmosphere.  

These leaks are big enough to wipe out a large share of the gains from the Obama administration’s work on climate change—all those closed coal mines and fuel-efficient cars. In fact, it’s even possible that America’s contribution to global warming increased during the Obama years. The methane story is utterly at odds with what we’ve been telling ourselves, not to mention what we’ve been telling the rest of the planet. It undercuts the promises we made at the climate talks in Paris. It’s a disaster—and one that seems set to spread.

The Obama administration, to its credit, seems to be waking up to the problem. Over the winter, the EPA began to revise its methane calculations, and in early March, the United States reached an agreement with Canada to begin the arduous task of stanching some of the leaks from all that new gas infrastructure. But none of this gets to the core problem, which is the rapid spread of fracking. Carbon dioxide is driving the great warming of the planet, but CO2 isn’t doing it alone. It’s time to take methane seriously.

MSNBCI found this interesting segment of The Rachel Maddow Show that showcases some of the Republican bigotry, racism and total lack of sensitivity to history.

Politico — Republicans over the past seven years have come to view Barack Obama not just as an ideological enemy but as a “dictator”—an accusation hurled most recently by both Chris Christie and Glenn Beck—a president who has unconstitutionally abused his executive power with an array of unilateral actions.

But Republicans are hardly passive victims of an overweening executive; they are, in fact, paying for their own unilateral surrender of power. The GOP-dominated Congress has sought to weaken and undermine Obama and instead has achieved the opposite. Unable to pass significant legislation after the Affordable Care Act, the Obama White House filled the vacuum by creative use of executive authority, setting a potentially risky precedent for the future balance between the branches but spurred, ironically, by the very opponents who were trying to contain him.

Is this where we get to say to Republicans "You reap what you sow!"?  Personally, I do not see Obama as a dictator, but rather a man trapped by the incompetence and beligerence of political foes . . . foes willing to ruin the country in order to stick to their idiotological principles.

My Universe — 20 Reasons You Need A Cat In Your Life

You may view cats as evil creatures, and you may not be entirely wrong with that assumption. Still, you may not realize that owning a cat actually has a variety of benefits for you and your health. These are just a few reasons why you should open your home to a cat.

BTW, people don't own cats.  Dogs have owners.  Cats have staff!

3. They Do Not Need Baths

Giving cats a bath is not a fun experience. Fortunately, unlike dogs, cats really do not need baths. They are huge neat freaks that frequently groom themselves, making bathing unnecessary. This also goes back to the whole “low maintenance thing”. If you do dare to bath a cat, be sure to wear complete padding because this can get pretty messy though the results are pretty hilarious.

7. They Make Fantastic Alarm Clocks

When cats want their breakfast, they want it now. They do not care if you are sleeping, they will wake you up. In fact, they do not even need to have breakfast for an excuse to wake you up. They will wake you up for whatever reason they have decided to wake you up and you will have to deal with that.

11. They Will Keep You Grounded

All of those jokes about how cats think humans are their slaves? These are completely accurate. Cats believe that you are merely there to serve them and their needs. This will help put you in your place whenever you feel that you are better than you are.

Click through for the other 17 reasons you need at least one cat in your life.

 

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Apr 262016
 

I slept poorly last night, because the druggies partied into the wee hours on the street below and made a lot of noise.  So I took another Lona nap this morning.  Store to door called and I gave them my grocery order.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:18 (average 5:49).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Charles and David Koch, the billionaire industrialists who have spent decades acquiring a world-class collection of Republicans, revealed over the weekend that they are considering purchasing their first Democrat.

“We’ve always bought Republicans, and our father bought Republicans before us,” Charles, the elder Koch, said. “They’re bred to be obedient, and they respond to simple commands.”

He said that he and his brother had considered acquiring a Democrat only after determining that none of the Republicans on offer this year was worth adding to their collection.

Fortunately, Andy, both Bernie and Hillary are too principled to become Koch suckers.

From Daily Kos: James Van Kuilenburg, a trans teenager, attended a Ted Cruz rally with his mother on Thursday. His goal was to hear what Ted Cruz had to say, but also, as The Frederick News-Post reported, "to show Cruz supporters that rhetoric about gay and transgender rights hurts real people, like him."

 

Republicans consider the First Amendment their exclusive property. Nobody else may exercise it.

From Upworthy: Witness this amazing letter he wrote in 1790 to the largest Jewish community in America at the time, the Hebrew congregation of Newport, Rhode Island. The Newport Jews had sent a message to Washington, basically congratulating him on being awesome.

A few days later, Washington responded (emphasis mine):

Gentlemen:

While I received with much satisfaction your address replete with expressions of esteem, I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you that I shall always retain grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced on my visit to Newport from all classes of citizens.

The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security. If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good government, to become a great and happy people.

The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy — a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my administration and fervent wishes for my felicity.

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants — while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.

G. Washington

Now try to imagine a similar epistle coming from a President Fecal Dump Trump or a President TRUSed Uranus Cruz to America’s largest Muslim community.  Then vote in November!

Cartoon:

0426Cartoon

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Apr 252016
 

I’ve been seeing a political; add lately opposing a so-called plot by Obama to rob senior’s pensions by allowing Puerto Rico to declare bankruptcy.  So i decided to read up on the issue while watching a John Oliver video, so as to learn and have a couple chuckles at that same time.  Now I’ll share it with you.

0425PR“Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver last night devoted his main segment to Puerto Rico.

The territory now has approximately $7 billion in debt and a 45% poverty rate. In an attempt to chip away at that deficit, the Puerto Rican government has increased sales taxes and closed schools, convincing thousands to leave for the contiguous U.S.

“Right now, Puerto Rico is like the last Tower Records,” Oliver said. “Everything’s overpriced, everyone’s being laid off, and there’s still a weirdly large number of Ricky Martin CDs.”

The seemingly obvious solution for the Puerto Rican government would be to declare Chapter 9, but a 1984 provision slipped without debate into a larger bill specifically exempts the territory from declaring bankruptcy…[emphasis added]

Inserted from <Salon.com>

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Actually, figuring out this issue didn’t tale rocket science.  When every state and every territory in the US has right to declare Chapter 9 bankruptcy, why would a Republican Senator slip a provision into a must pass spending bill that made an exception of Puerto Rico, and ONLY Puerto Rico?  The only possible purpose would be to enable Banksters and Vulture Capitalist hedge funds create a bubble in speculative Puerto Rican bonds and safeguard the speculators by forcing the territory they have victimized into liquidating their assets to pay off the speculators.  This is very similar to what they have done to Greece.

The solution is simple enough.  First, overturn the Republican provision that prevents Puerto Rico from declaring bankruptcy.  Second, charge Banksters and hedge funds a penalty co cover any losses pensioners may incur.  Third, reinstitute Glass-Steagall.  Fourth, tax speculation.

Otherwise, we’ll need to rename the island Puerto Pobre.

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